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07.03.17

4 Days of Strike in a Row (Including Weekend), But Tomorrow is No Independence Day at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Battistelli-influenced media treated this strike as though it never happened

Oval Office

Summary: With a tyrant at the Office (not the Oval Office but the European Patent Office) this year’s Independence Day will feel like anything but, even though the staff made it abundantly clear that it is fed up and unwilling to tolerate it any longer

We are not shocked that the EPO says nothing at all about the strike; but we are very disappointed that the media too plays along with the EPO in that silence. Only two publications, WIPR and Intellectual Property Watch (IP Watch) have covered it, at least in English. SUEPO’s Web site still says not a word about it; neither does The Register, which did take the opportunity to mention the strike last year (Benoît Battistelli escaped to London when the last strike took place).

Well, the EPO was still on strike today and not only does the EPO say nothing about it (same as last week); it does its typical greenwashing with utterly shallow puff pieces today (warning: epo.org link), including the obligatory Battistelli self-promotion:

“Supported by patents, innovation in the renewable energy technologies sector has contributed to dramatic cost reductions and rapid technology deployment,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli.

We then saw Catherine Saez copy-pasting the press release and publicly asked: “Did IP Watch really need to help #epo carry #greenwashing puff pieces to distract from today’s STRIKE?”

IP Watch retweeted this critical message, but it has not responded.

To IP Watch‘s credit, one of their writers does habitually cover EPO scandals and he also covered this latest strike.

Earlier today someone anonymously asked about Willy Minnoye: “So how many people showed up for Willy’s farewell bash ?”

A cartoon about his last day at work was recently circulated. Was he the only person in the Office that day? Almost?

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5 Comments

  1. One of those... said,

    July 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Alas not.
    Less than 20% striked….

    We are lost…

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This means that many who voted for a strike did not exercise their right. Was there some suppression at play (downstream from management)?

    One of those... Reply:

    More the ongoing reorganisation.
    With no new director posts coming up for years to come, thee was no chance for a career for a whole EPO generation. They introduced so-called team managers instead, for which the application timeframe has just closed. Those who applied got,the information that not striking will not damage their chances to be selected after the selection round.
    And those who want a career towards the managerial path need to go through this step first in the foreseen new structure.

    And a feeling of “this does not help anyway”.
    The floors were empty on Friday, but I suspect that many took a leave day instead of striking, thus bolstering Mr. Battistelli’s narrative.

    We are engineers. We do not fight, we expect fairness.

    john Reply:

    There is NO carrer towards the management path for examiners. People tend to forget, but Battistelli told so about 3 years ago: he does not feel it appropriate that examiners become managers. So they can be team leaders, for no extra pay and only for a few years and then they go back to examination. Hint: in the first month, they were called “team managers”, but Battistelli quickly demanded that the wording be corrected: they are NOT “managers” and they will never, ever be. And many examiners understood so much: the EPO found it very difficult to find “volunteers” to become “team leaders”. And, BTW, “team leaders” and directors are not ALLOWED to strike as their function is deemed to be “essential to the functioning of the office”.

    Battistelli lady out his plans publicly the first year he arrived. He said:
    -”the office is run by suepo, which is horrible” and he proceeded to change that
    -”there is not enough difference between regular and management career” (also in pay, he explicitly said that there should be a gap of at least 2000€ a month) and that managers should be exclusively hired from external sources
    -lowering the monthly pay and replacing it with bonus when objectives were met was a necessity to improve “staff loyalty”
    -there was no need for a DG3 with the UPC litigation court
    -the pension plan was far too generous.

    It seems he has implemented all these stated objectives but the last one.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I heard from people whose pension is already at risk too.

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